While these Middle East/North Africa venues are global oil giants and net oil exporters, demand for natural gas here is growing faster than supply. Combined with the natural gas boom in the US and new technology to unlock gas trapped in shale, this has spurred exploration in MENA. And it makes sense: this tight and shale gas occurs in rock formations that are likely the source rocks of conventional oil and gas, which the region has plenty of. Despite the commercial challenges and in some cases water shortages for hydraulic fracturing, some MENA countries are pursuing shale full-on.
The potential is definitely there: Across the region there is an estimated almost 1,500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Much of this is tight and shale gas, and the race is on now to determine the potential.
Here are our top venue picks in order of potential:
Algerian officials believe they’re sitting on shale gas reserves that rival the US’. The country’s state-own energy company, Sonatrach, has signed a cooperation agreement with Italy’s Eni SpA to develop unconventional gas resources, with a focus on shale. The partnership deal also includes Talisman (Canada), Shell and Anadarko.
As we’ve noted before, Algeria is focusing so strongly on shale that its latest legislation targets this sector specifically, attempting to lure foreign partners to these plays with more favorable terms.
Algeria has an estimated 2 trillion…